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How is child support calculated in Illinois?

Sometimes the most basic family law issues in Illinois are the most confusing and complicated. Child support and the amount that is ordered to be paid is a situation that is frequently problematic for the supporting parent and the custodial parent. Understanding how child support is calculated is imperative. The amount that is to be paid is contingent on the net income of the noncustodial parent and the number of children he or she has.

There are basic percentages that are used. With one child, it is 20 percent of the noncustodial parent's net income. With two, it is 28 percent. With three, it is 32 percent. Four children will come to 40 percent. Five children will be 45 percent. And six or more children will be 50 percent. There are variables with every case. If the court finds that the amount that the guidelines suggest is inappropriate based on the child's best interests, it can be changed.

The following factors can be considered in altering the amount from the guidelines: the needs and financial resources of the child; the needs and financial resources of the custodial parent; the standard of living that the child had when the couple was married; the condition of the child in an emotional and physical way; their educational requirements; and the financial needs and resources of the noncustodial parent. Net income is the amount the person earns from all sources minus the following: federal and state income tax; Social Security; mandatory contributions to retirement; union dues; health and hospital premiums; any previous obligations for support; expenses to repay debts; medical costs; and reasonable expenses for the child and other parent.

Child support is a common cause for dispute amid family law issues. Those who are ordered to pay child support or are receiving child support must understand how the amount is determined and what different factors are weighed. Speaking to a lawyer who is experienced in Illinois family law is vital to a case.

Source: Illinois.gov, "Calculating Child Support Obligation," accessed on May 16, 2017

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